Town Councils’ FY2017 Financial Statements and the FY2017 Town Council Management Report

Dec 14, 2018 12:00


Presentation of Town Councils’ FY2017 Financial Statements to Parliament

The Ministry of National Development (MND) has presented the FY2017 audited financial statements of all Town Councils (TCs) to Parliament, and the TCs will be making them available on their websites.

All TCs had unqualified financial statements for FY2017, except for Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) whose financial statements were qualified by the TC’s external auditor.  The external auditor has qualified AHTC’s financial statements due to an internal control weakness where the TC failed to record expenses incurred in a timely manner. This is the 7th consecutive year that AHTC has received qualified statements from its external auditor. 

Results of the FY2017 Town Council Management Report

MND has also released the FY2017 Town Council Management Report (TCMR) covering the period April 2017 to March 2018. TCs were assessed under five indicators, using three colour bands. Assessment was based on measurable objective criteria submitted by the TCs and their auditors. 

The results of the FY2017 TCMR are comparable with that of the previous years, with improvements observed in the areas of Estate Maintenance and Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) Arrears Management. They are summarised below. More details can be found at Annexes A and B.

TCMR Indicators

Result

Estate Cleanliness

Examines town cleanliness in areas such as presence of litter, bulky refuse and graffiti.

 

All TCs scored “Green”

Estate Maintenance

Examines town maintenance in areas such as damaged pipes/walls and obstructions in common areas.

 

11 TCs scored “Green”

5 TCs scored “Amber”

Lift Performance

Examines the performance of lifts as measured by frequency of lift breakdowns and functioning of the Automatic Rescue Device (ARD)[1].

 

All TCs scored “Green”

S&CC Arrears Management

Examines the effectiveness of TCs’ S&CC arrears management.

 

All TCs scored “Green”

 

Corporate Governance

Reflects the strength of TCs’ corporate governance through governance-related observations by their auditors and their self-declared compliance with the Town Councils Act (TCs Act) and the subsidiary legislations such as Town Councils Financial Rules (TCFR).

12 TCs scored “Green”

4 TCs scored “Amber”

 


Observations

The broad observations for the indicators are as follows: 

a) Estate Cleanliness. All TCs were banded “Green” as they had less than 4 counts of cleanliness observations per block on average. 

b) Estate Maintenance. 11 TCs were banded “Green” and 5 TCs were banded “Amber”. TCs which had less than 4 counts of maintenance observations per block on average were banded “Green”, while TCs which had 4 to less than 8 counts of maintenance observations per block on average were banded “Amber”.

c) Lift Performance. All TCs were banded “Green” as there were less than 2 breakdowns every month for every 10 lifts managed by the TCs, and the lifts' ARD failure rate was zero.

d) S&CC Arrears Management. All TCs were banded “Green” as there were less than 4 in 100 households that owed arrears for 3 months or more and less than 40% of the monthly collectible S&CC for the town was overdue.

e) Corporate Governance. 12 TCs were banded “Green” and 4 TCs were banded “Amber” due to one item each of non-compliance with the TCs Act and/or TCFR:

i) Aljunied-Hougang – Failure to maintain updated accounts and records of expenses due to an internal control weakness where the TC failed to record expenses incurred in a timely manner. This was also the reason why the auditor had qualified AHTC’s financial statements;

ii) Bishan-Toa Payoh – Accepted quotations were not circulated to the TC for information as required in the TCFR; 

iii) Tampines – Incorrect amount transferred from the Operating Fund to the Sinking Fund and Lift Replacement Fund. The TC had identified the computational error and rectified it, but it is still considered a case of non-compliance as the correct amount was not transferred within one month after the end of the quarter. 

iv) Tanjong Pagar – Approval for the transfer of budget from other areas to “Cleaning and Utilities Expenses” was obtained only after the expenditure was incurred.  

TCMR Review

The current set of TCMR indicators and methodology have been in place since FY2012. MND has been reviewing them to see how they can better reflect residents’ experience. For FY2018, the areas measured under the Estate Cleanliness and Estate Maintenance indicators have been updated to sharpen the focus on issues of public health/hygiene, public safety and the living environment. These include increasing the severity levels for observations such as overflowing refuse in bin chutes, and adding new items such as snapped/dangling tree branches. The remaining indicators are being reviewed progressively and details will be announced when ready.  

Enquiries


Members of the public can refer to the TCs’ FY2017 financial statements on the respective TCs’ websites. The TCMR results can be found on www.towncouncils.sg. 
 

[1] The ARD brings the lift car to the nearest lift landing during a power failure.